The long awaited automotive industry roadmap has finally been approved by President Aquino. Called the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy, or CARS, the program aims to boost the Philippine automotive sector and boost the country's competitiveness in the ASEAN region.

“The program is designed to build and grow the parts making capability of the auto industry, for without a robust parts making industry, our car making industry will remain uncompetitive. The CARS program is about building capabilities and jobs to make our automotive manufacturing industry competitive in ASEAN,” Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo explained.

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The CARS program is expected to generate economic activity worth around 300 billion pesos and at least a 1.7% growth in the national GDP. The government will offer as much as 27 billion pesos worth of timebound and and performance-based fiscal incentives. The program is also expected to create around 200,000 direct and indirect jobs in the course of six years. The CARS program calls for new investments in parts manufacturing such as large car body panels, bumpers, instrument panels, head lamps, shock absorbers, plastic fuel tanks, automotive fabric and others. With investments coming from various manufacturers, the program hopes to see production technologies “spill over” to casting, forging, machining, tool & die and the likes.

“As parts making capability develops and production reaches economic scale, we expect consumers to benefit from lower prices of cars and spare parts,” added Undersecretary Cristobal.

"CAMPI supports the passage of E.O. 182 which provides for a Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy Program (CARS). In the same token, CAMPI acknowledges the efforts of the Government in ensuring a resurgent automotive industry that will boost vehicle and parts manufacturing capability in the country. This program is timely in view of the need of the Philippine motor vehicle industry to achieve competitiveness in the region, giving opportunity to the country's automotive industry to take part in the regional supply chain. CAMPI is confident that this program will be a catalyst for sustained growth of the industry particularly the manufacturing sector," said Atty. Rommel Guttierez, president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc.